Today’s Question: Did Jesus tell us to keep the (old) law?


Question:
Did Jesus tell us to keep the (old) law?

Answer: Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Old Law remained fully in force. Afterwards, by the power of Christ, the New Covenant and the Church replaced the entirety of the Old Law, which never had the ability to save a soul.

If the Old Law/Old Covenant had been sufficient, the “New” Covenant would not have been necessary; Nor would Christ’s perfect and atoning sacrifice on the cross, for the sins of the world. 

Jesus also spoke about the folly of attempting to put new “wine” into old wine “skins”. This is precisely the type of thing to which he was referring.

The sole governing authority of the New Covenant is the Holy Catholic Church, which was given the Power of Binding and Loosing, as well as the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, by Christ himself.

Only that which the New Covenant Church authoritatively decided to readopt or re-adapt (from OT times) made the transition from old to new. Nothing else.

Conclusion: The Holy Catholic Church remains the sole governing authority under the New Covenant, as well as the primary channel of God’s grace on earth, with Jesus as its’ head and the Holy Spirit as its’ constant Advocate and Spirit of Truth.

Grace – not Law – now, mercifully reigns – in and through Jesus Christ, our Divine Redeemer – in God’s “New” and “Better” order of things.

That’s how Jesus set things up for us. He knew what he was doing. He’s God!

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

100 Prophecies Of The Old Testament That Were Fulfilled In The New Testament

BibleInspiredOf all the religions of the world, it is only Jesus Christ, Christianity, and His Church, which were foretold by prophets hundreds of years in advance of His coming.

See all 100

“The New Testament
lies concealed in the Old,
and the Old Testament is revealed
in the New.”

Saint Augustine 354-430

What Pope Francis never told you: Present-Day Judaism is not Old Testament Judaism

destrjerusalem

General Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem – Pentecost Sunday, 70 A.D.

“What The Jews Believe” is the subject to which “Life” magazine devoted eleven pages of its September 11th issue. The writer, Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein of Rochester, N. Y., is the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, “the largest organization of rabbis in the world.” The article enforces the conviction that the Judaism of today is not Old Testament Judaism.

The two opening sentences alone of the lengthy article warrant the above declaration, viz:—“The Jew has no single organized church. He has no priests.” This is enlarged upon in these words:—“The congregation’s rabbi is a teacher, not a priest.” The rabbi is “without any vested ecclesiastical authority, he is not even necessary to the functioning of the synagogue. Any male Jew with sufficient knowledge of the prayers and the laws can conduct a religious service, officiate at marriages and bury the dead.”

This is not new in Jewry. Ludwig Lewisohn, professor of English literature at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., says in his “Mid-Channel”:—“With the destruction of the Temple the sacrificial cult of the Jews was destroyed. For among the people there was but one altar, hence the Jewish people were suddenly laicized. Priests and sacrifices and tangible mysteries were no more.”

Surely this is not Old Testament Judaism, which was, as the Catholic Church is, an authoritative God-instituted priestly religion; the high priest being the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Aaron was its Peter, who was ordained by God through his brother Moses (Exodus 28), having successors until about the time of the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 A. D.

Read more

The Pope should know better! The Catholic Church, Francis wrote, holds “the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked.”

covenant

In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis cited the erroneous passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (shown below, in its’ entirety) which incorrectly and improperly conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and no longer valid Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews.

Here’s the erroneous and problematic segment from the Catholic Catechism:

The Old Testament

121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value,92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

ERROR: Here, the term “COVENANT” is used interchangeably with the term “TESTAMENT” – BUT in this particular context, the meaning of the two is entirely different.

The term “Testament” refers to the Old Testament of the written Word of God – the Holy Bible – while the term “Covenant” refers to the Mosaic Law of the Jews and the TEMPORARY/NON SALVIFIC covenant God made with Moses on Mount Sinai.

The two are not the same!

Now we are treated to a bit of Catholic truth –

122 Indeed, “the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”93 “Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional,”94 the books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s saving love: these writings “are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way.”95

And now – more ERROR – as once again,the post-Vatican II style of imprecise (intentionally misleading?) language erroneously conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and replaced Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews: 

123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. “The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).”

This above statement is absolutely true in terms of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible – yet it proves to be absolutely false when applied to the Old Mosaic Covenant of the Jews.

The Holy Spirit inspired, totally inerrant,
written Word of God –
The OLD Testament of the Bible –
along with the NEW Testament
has never been revoked!

The status of the Jew’s OLD Mosaic COVENANT however,
is a totally different matter.

There is no doubt that Jesus gave us ALL
a NEW and better COVENANT.

Jesus perfectly fulfilled and respectfully set aside
the OLD COVENANT,
which IS NO LONGER VALID for ANYONE
when he have us the New Covenant in his blood,
at The Last Supper.

The reason for this is simple:
The Old Covenant was never able to save a soul.
Absent Christ’s saving work on the cross,
everyone who ever attempted to live by the Old Covenant alone
would likely have suffered eternal death, as a result.

Only by the merciful and timely application
of the grace of Jesus Christ is salvation possible.
NOT by the “keeping” of ANY LAW.

Several popes (including Pope Francis) seem to be comfortable repeating the scandalous, vaguely written and erroneous passage from the Catholic Catechism, which mistakenly gives the impression that the Old Covenant might still somehow be valid for the Jews, when it most certainly is not.

To make this state of affairs even more scandalous, even the Muslims seem to know the truth, and they are able to prove it, by correctly citing both chapter and verse from the Holy Bible.

From the reader comments on the linked article – apparently written by a Muslim:

Jesus (PBUH) accused the Pharisees and Scribes of being “blind leaders of the blind”. The Pope (at the very least, this one) and other leaders in the Roman Catholic Church are the “Christian” version of those Jewish blind leaders whose followers are also blind.

From a Christian point of view, what is the “new covenant” all about if the “old covenant” still abides? Practically the whole of the “New Testament” writings declare that the “Old Testament/Covenant” has PASSED AWAY with the bringing in of the New Testament/Covenant in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. Particularly the whole letter called “Hebrews” deals with the contrast between the two covenants, the new REPLACING the old. Consider a few verses from this letter to the Hebrews (New King James Version):

7:18 and 19 – “For on the one hand there is an ANNULLING of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”

8:13 – “In that He says, ‘A new covenant’, He has made the first OBSOLETE. Now what is obsolete and growing old IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.” [This was written shortly before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple, thus actually causing the old to “vanish away”.]

9:8 – “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All WAS NOT YET MADE MANIFEST WHILE THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS STILL STANDING.” [The “first tabernacle” no longer stands though, nor does the ‘covenant’ associated with that “first tabernacle”.]

Jesus Christ himself (peace to him) could not have been clearer than in the parable he told about a landowner “…who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he lease it to vinedressers and went into a far country” (Matthew 21:33) When the landowner sent servants to collect the fruit of the vineyard, the vinedressers/tenants beat up and killed the servants, finally killing the son of the landowner. ” ‘Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?’ They said to him, ‘HE will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? Therefore I say to you,

” ‘Therefore I say to you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOU AND GIVEN TO A NATION BEARING THE FRUITS OF IT’ “.

It doesn’t matter whether the new nation to whom the kingdom is given is ‘the Church’ or the Arab “Ishmaelite” nation. The point here is that the the Jewish nation is REJECTED from the kingdom while another nation takes their place. Certainly there are “Jews according to the flesh” who enter into the kingdom of God; but it is not through that “old covenant” which has been annulled. They enter on the same footing as everyone else who enters it.

That at least is the teaching of Jesus Christ and his apostles (peace to them all). The Pope claims to be the earthly representative of Jesus Christ, yet he repudiates the teaching of Jesus and his apostles. Surely he is among those who will be shocked to hear Jesus Christ say to him: “Depart from me, you wicked ones; because I never knew you”.

Link

Editor’s note: We have apparently come to a point in history where we have Catholic popes preaching fallacy – and we have Muslims correcting them on significant matters of Catholic doctrine. What a sad state of affairs! – Ed.)

Must see: Extraordinary video provides truthful, common sense answers to some of the Bible’s most intriguing mysteries.

MaryScripture

Watch the 11 minute video

No smoke. No mirrors. Just a simple, totally “orthodox” explanation of key Old and New Testament Scriptures and the divine connections between the Bible, Jesus, Mary, the Evangelists, the Early Church Fathers, the constant teachings of the Catholic Church, and the authentic beliefs and practices of the Christian faithful.

Most people have probably never heard, read, or seen this information before – but it’s all true and it’s all right there in the Bible, for anyone to plainly see.

Watch the 11 minute video

Additional study:

The Passion Behind the Passion – Chapter 11 (pages 107-123)  PDF Document

Blessed Virgin Mary (PowerPoint Slide show)

Legion of Mary

Submitted by Jola S.

If you want to know what is happening to us now, all you have to do is to read the Old Testament and see what God did FOR those who obeyed Him, and TO those who refused to obey Him.

sodom-and-gomorrah

Lot and his family fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
(Salty wife pictured slightly below and to the left) 

If you want to know what is happening to us now, all you have to do is to read the Old Testament and see what God did FOR those who obeyed Him, and TO those who refused to obey Him. The Old Testament is full of verses that illustrate both. Here is just one example:

Sir 16:7 In the congregation of sinners a fire shall be kindled, and in an unbelieving nation wrath shall flame out.
Sir 16:8 The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sins, who were destroyed trusting to their own strength:
Sir 16:9 And he spared not the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for the pride of their word.
Sir 16:10 He had not pity on them, destroying the whole nation that extolled themselves in their sins.
Sir 16:11 So did he with the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their heart: and if one had been stiffnecked, it is a wonder if he had escaped unpunished:

Verses 7 and 10 of the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) tell it all.

Submitted by Bob Stanley of The Catholic Treasure Chest

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: Proper worship and acceptable sacrifice, 24/7 and 365, all around the world, until the end of time.

malproph

MASSsacred

masswhy

Some “deep” biblical background for those with eyes … to see.

All these fundalmentalist Bible beaters are always bringin’ up stuff from the past that harps on the sins of Sodom and Gemorrah and all. I mean, for reals? That was sooooo long ago, man. We’s all evolved since them times ya’ll. Everbody knows that. Even the President of these here United States. I mean look how effectively we treat others, and how we all live to take care of the poor and the downtrodden, etc. It’s almost second nature to us nowadays, ain’t it? As for Sodom and Gemorrah, did you know that some fellars actually think that Jesus was one of the angels that destroyed them there cities? I’m serious.

This guy named St. Justin Martyr, he was one of them Church Fathers, see, and why he goes so far as to say that the Angel of the Lord was a pre-incarnate Jesus or something like that.

Talkin’ like that kin get you kilt quicker than you can say “do you know Jesus, friend?,” which is probably why Justin got that nifty last name. Lookee here at what he said in this here letter he wrote to a dude named Trypho:

But if you knew, Trypho, who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel, and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and Corner-Stone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn.

For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God. For Moses says somewhere in Exodus the following: ‘The Lord spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, being their God; and my name I revealed not to them, and I established my covenant with them.’

And thus again he says, ‘A man wrestled with Jacob,’ and asserts it was God; narrating that Jacob said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’ And it is recorded that he called the place where He wrestled with him, appeared to and blessed him, the Face of God (Peniel).

And Moses says that God appeared also to Abraham near the oak in Mamre, when he was sitting at the door of his tent at mid-day. Then he goes on to say: ‘And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them.’ Genesis 18:2 After a little, one of them promises a son to Abraham: ‘Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, and I am old? Is anything impossible with God? At the time appointed I will return, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. And they went away from Abraham.’

Again he speaks of them thus: ‘And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom.’ Genesis 18:16 Then to Abraham He who was and is again speaks: ‘I will not hide from Abraham, my servant, what I intend to do.’ Genesis 18:17

Read more

When evil was allowed to do its worst, even to the point of wearing itself out … only to have God step in and restore all that had been lost!

What is perhaps the oldest book of the Bible grapples prophetically with Satan … the “Mystery of Iniquity” … suffering … human failings … the will of God … redemption … restoration … faith, hope and love.

Read more

Faith in Jesus Christ and in the Church he founded, remains the essential, positive, free-will response to God’s grace.

An excellent treatment of a complex and controversial subject:

…The ultimate rejection of God by the Jews was the rejection and murder of their own Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth.

Because of their “unbelief” – Saint Paul writes – Israel was “cut off” (Epistle to the Romans 11:19) from their standing before God…

Israel as the People of God – Part One: Who is a Jew?

Israel as the People of God – Part Two: The Land of Israel

Israel as the People of God – Part Three: Israel and the Church

The Virgin Shall Conceive

It’s Advent, so it probably won’t be long before we’ll be subjected to the standard rant about Isaiah 7.14: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

What you may hear is that the Hebrew word for “virgin” is bethulah, but the word here is alma, which simply means “a young girl,” so the early Christians who thought Isaiah 7.14 meant “virgin” were simply confused.

I’ve had to endure this rant several times from the pulpit, and it’s trotted out every few years in the mainstream media, trumpeted as though it were the fruit of the latest biblical scholarship.

Read more

A priest reaffirms his faith in the Catholic Church, in a strange kind of way.

The Catholic Church is like the Old Testament. There is Noah, lying drunk and naked. There’s Abraham disobeying God and taking his maid instead of his wife. There’s David ogling Bathsheba and plotting to kill her husband after he makes her pregnant. The same rich stink of sin wafts through the Catholic Church too, and that is what makes it seem real.

Read more

This Week’s Ask Alice: What happened between the Old Testament and the New that changed God’s behavior?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

D.T. Asks: What happened between the Old Testament and the New that changed God’s behavior?

Alice Answers: In a word, “Jesus” happened!

It was the sacrificial death of His only Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ that resulted in the apparent change of God’s behavior towards mankind, from the Old Testament to the New.

God spent the entire Old Testament dealing with the originally sinful behavior of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the inherited concupiscence, i.e., tendency to sin, of their descendents.

The result was many centuries of disobedient, sinful behavior, committed by human beings who were under the evil domination of Satan the devil … who was, in those days … the undisputed “Prince of This World”.

Refusing to obey God and lacking grace, they brought upon themselves certain divine chastisements (most notably death, which is the universal penalty for sin) as duly recorded in all 46 books of the Old Testament.

Fortunately: “In the fullness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

Thus, the New Testament began. The foundation of these 27 books is love personified, in the fully divine and fully human Jesus Christ … the Prince of Peace and the Holy Redeemer of all mankind.

Jesus came, not to abolish the Old Testament,
but to save mankind and fulfill all the sacred Scriptures.

Throughout his earthly life, Jesus taught us how to live and love. By his saving death, Jesus destroyed Satan’s evil dominion and satisfied the debt (owed to God alone) that we could never pay, making possible the forgiveness of sins and reopening the gates of heaven.

Most importantly, Jesus obtained the sanctifying grace that we all need, in order to obtain heaven.


At the Sermon On the Mount Jesus preached the true path to righteousness (Matthew 5:3-10). He also taught us how to pray (Matthew 6: 5-14).

When Jesus, our brother, walked on earth with His disciples, it was no longer necessary for God to appear to His people in a mysterious burning bush or a column of cloud.

The risen Jesus … the Logos … the Eternal Word … the holy, perfect and authentic image of God, who is truly God himself … finally made the primeval foolishness of “idol worship” distinctly apparent to all.

“Philip saith to him: Lord, show us the Father; and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Show us the Father?” (John 14:8-9)

Jesus was not a military leader fighting battles for control and power. His Kingdom is not of this world (this present system of things) but of the world to come. Jesus taught His followers, by word and deed, precisely how the power of love would save souls and forever change our world, for good.

Shortly after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit appeared (Acts 2: 1-13) and set the apostles’ hearts on fire with love.

With Satan’s evil dominion destroyed, heaven reopened, man’s redemption obtained, and Jesus suitably installed as the new and sinless head of all mankind … grace … not wrath … was the new order of the day … and it was typically no longer necessary to smote and smite the rebellious Israelites (or anyone else.)

In these grace-empowered New Testament times,
the final battle already won by Jesus Christ,
the Holy Spirit prefers to lovingly inspire, teach,
correct, and sanctify by indwelling human hearts and souls.

Instead of fighting wars, and thanks to the inspired evangelism of disciples like Saint Peter, Saint Paul and others, the Church of Jesus Christ sprouted up all around the world, soon to be “watered” by the blood of the martyrs.

Saint Stephen, “full of grace and fortitude” was the first of many holy men and women who would be faithful witnesses for their Christian faith, even in the face of imminent (and often gruesome) death. (Acts 6:8 and 7: 54-60)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Related links:

The “Fine Points” of Our Redemption In Jesus Christ

Sacred Art, Statuary, and Catholics

Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love?

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

God Works Wonders With Wood – A Meditation on the Cross and How God Prefigured It In the Old Testament

As we draw near to Holy Week, and on this Friday when many of us pray the Stations of the Cross, we do well to meditate on the wood of the cross. For it is a fascinating fact that, when saving His people, God often had recourse to wood. Indeed, one of the great themes of the Old Testament and into the New Testament is that “God Works Wonders With Wood.”

Consider with me a number of places in the Scriptures where God uses wood to save:

Read more

Bible Maps On-Line


Visit the site

The Catholic Church Is ISRAEL

The Church, particularly the Catholic Church, is Israel. There is no other Israel today, in a Biblical sense, than the Church. The Church is also Zion. There is no other Zion, in a spiritual sense, than the Church. The Church is also the New Jerusalem.  There is no other “Jerusalem,” in a spiritual sense than the Church.  This is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament. Without this understanding, everything becomes convoluted. If you read Israel and the Church as being two separate entities than you’ve missed the boat, and one of the most fundamental teachings of the New Testament just went right over your head.

In the eleventh chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans he uses the illustration of an olive tree to make his point. He compares the Church to a tree that has it’s roots in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and it’s trunk representing the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament. No tree trunk grows upward into infinity. At some point it must sprout branches, and so St. Paul’s “olive tree” does the same. These branches make up the modern Church in Jesus Christ.

Some branches are Jewish Christians. Many branches are Gentile Christians. Both are precious in the eyes of God.  This is the “Israel of God.”

What about those Jews who refused to believe in Jesus Christ? St. Paul himself tells us those are the branches that were cut off from the tree – at least for the time being. These branches can however be grafted back in at any time, and indeed he assures us that someday they all will be, in the fullness of time. As far as we’re concerned anyway, Christianity (neither Judaism nor some piece of real estate in the Middle East) makes up the new “Israel of God,” and it’s been this way ever since Christ initiated the New Covenant some 2,000 years ago.

This is how we Christians are to understand ourselves, and the Church, in the context of Israel and the Old Testament. I cannot stress how incredibly important this is, because if it is not understood, the errors that will arise from it will be nothing short of monumental!

Read more

Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise…

A seven year-old
waxes eloquently
on the Old Testament
story of the Prophet Jonah.

Definitely worth watching!

In word, types, figures and events, the Old Testament prefigures the New.


Read more

The Papacy and the Priesthood

One of the hallmarks of the Catholic faith is our belief that
the Pope is God’s designated and true representative on earth.

Firmly rooted in Scripture and confirmed
from the earliest times by Apostolic Tradition,
the primacy of Simon Peter,“the Rock”
whose office and authority lives on today
in Benedict, our current Pope,
remains the solid earthly foundation
on which the Roman Catholic Church is built.

When God made Aaron, the brother of Moses,
the first high priest, he set up the office of priest in perpetuity
(a man so ordained would remain a priest forever
and the office of the priesthood would continue forever):

Exodus 29:9-11
To wit, Aaron and his children,
and thou shalt put mitres upon them;
and they shall be priests to me by a perpetual ordinance.

The high priest was endowed with awesome
responsibilities, special powers and extraordinary authority.
A high priest normally served for life
(until later times, when that was changed).

He was in charge of all the other priests,
as well as the administration of the Tabernacle or Temple.
When he died, his office was to be handed down to his successor:

Exodus 29:29-30
And the holy vesture, which Aaron shall use,
his sons shall have after him, that they may be anointed,
and their hands consecrated in it.
He of his sons that shall be appointed high priest
in his stead, and that shall enter into
the tabernacle of the testimony to minister in the sanctuary,
shall wear it seven days.

It was also normal for the high priest to prophesy.
His prophetic words were considered to come straight from God.
This was true even for corrupt high priests:

John 11:49-53
But one of them, named Caiphas,
being the high priest that year, said to them:
You know nothing. Neither do you consider
that it is expedient for you that one man
should die for the people
and that the whole nation perish not.
And this he spoke not of himself:
but being the high priest of that year,
he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.
And not only for the nation,
but to gather together in one the children of God
that were dispersed. From that day therefore
they devised to put him to death.

Read more

On the Feast of the John The Baptist: A Strange and Wonderful, Though Long Delayed Answer

Birth of St. John the Baptist

To understand the moment we must go back in time to approximately 1900 BC. The place is a hillside called Moriah where Jerusalem would later be built. Abraham has been commended there by God where he has been told to prepare to kill him in sacrifice. Upon arriving at the foot of Moriah the text says,

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”  ”Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. ”The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb…? (Gen 22:6-8)

Do not miss the great foreshadowing here: A long promised son, about to die, carrying wood upon his shoulders ascending the very hillside where Jerusalem and Golgotha will one day be located. Yes this is a wondrous foreshadowing.

And then comes the great question to his Father: “But, Where is the Lamb?” Yes, indeed, where is the Lamb who will die so that I don’t have to? Where is the Lamb whose blood will save my life? Where is the Lamb?

Now you know the rest of that story. An angel stopped Abraham and then pointed to a ram, with it’s horns in the thicket. And you may be excused for saying, “Aha, God did provide the Lamb. End of story.” But truth be told, this ram, this lamb cannot really save Isaac. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb 10:4) Isaac’s death is merely postponed and then it is off to Sheol with him where he will lie and wait for the True Lamb who alone can give eternal life.

And so, that question got wafted up on to the breeze and echoed down through the Centuries that followed: “But, where is the Lamb…..where is the Lamb?”

And now we are standing by the banks of the Jordan River 19 Centuries later and John the Baptist sees a full grown man coming toward him and says a very strange thing: “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” (Jn 1:29) Yes, there is the  true Lamb who alone can take away our sins. John the Baptist supplies a strange and wonderful, though long delayed answer to a question Isaac asked 1,900 years before. Where is the Lamb?  THERE is the Lamb!

Happy birthday of John the Baptist.

Read more